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History

historiekDe founding act of Research Centre Hoogstraten got signed at 03.03.1955 and at 24.06.1956 the first smaller buildings of the centre were officially appointed. The  grounds were released by Mister Stas de Richelle in the form of annual lease payments.

In 1963 the first greenhouse complex was built, ten years later the investments were done to expand the greenhouses. At Research Centre Hoogstraten the attention was spent on a number of cultures. Firstly the strawberry cultivation in all of its forms was a main item, but also the research in soft fruit was relevant (blue berries, red berries, blackberries, raspberries,...). The culture of pickles was also strongly rising and formed together with strawberry the main activity at local growers. 

historiekSince 1967 Research Centre Hoogstraten started to participate in scientific research. A subsection was founded of the Committee for Research on Strawberry (Section II - I.W.O.N.L.). This research provided an extra dimension in witch numerous problems in different cultures could be approached in a more fundamental fashion. De budget of the research centre got covered by the Ministry of Agriculture, section Agri- and Horticulture.

In the '70s and '80s de greenhouses were upgraded and the plastic tunnels found their way into Research Centre Hoogstraten. Het administration office was expanded, making sure for the necessary infrastructure for study meetings for a broad public held at Research Centre Hoogstraten.

historiekIn 1991 Research Centre Hoogstraten was completely renewed. The existing greenhouses and administration office got replaced by modern infrastructure adding up to the demands of the research. In that period the attention mainly went to the culture of strawberries in all different cultivation systems, the culture of tomato and the culture of pickles in glasshouses and in soil. To a lesser extend research was done in raspberries, red berries and the forced culture of asparagus. Slowly it became clear that the growers specialized further in the culture of strawberry or the cultivation of vegetables in glasshouses. The less important small fruit research disappeared at Research Centre Hoogstraten and made way for specialized research in the above mentioned cultures. It was also in this period that the first consultancy by signing a yearly contract was exercised in the strawberry culture.

historiekI became more commonly to do research at the centre in the form of projects. Since 2003 the scientific research projects are contemplated in collaboration with IWT. From that moment on the general operation and formation of the budget of the research centres, with PCH among them, was categorised entirely under the services of the Flemish Government, the agency of sustainable agricultural development (ADLO).

Because of the research projects the  personal staff of Research Centre Hoogstraten grew strongly during the last decennium.

New changes needed to be done historiek to create a suitable administration office. Therefore a three part investment dossier was created and executed. In the first part the administration office was enlarged and modernised (2010). The renewal of a 1.5 ha glasshouse complex was realised after the approavel of the second part of the investment dossier (2011). The last part still needs to be accomplished and contains the installation of a cogenerating installation or a combined heat and power installation (CHP). This investment is necessary to answer the energy problems risen during the last decade.

Through continuous investments aided by the Flemish Government, the growers and the province Research Centre Hoogstraten succeeded in realising a ultra modern research station in which research of the hightst quality can take place. This way the even further evolution of the different cultures in the region is guaranteed. 

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Tel: +32 (0)3 315 70 52  -  Fax: +32 (0)3 315 00 87  -  info@proefcentrum.be
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